Software developers tell about their employee experience at Softability

Nora Nirhamo | 2022/02/21

Employees have found their way to Softability through diverse career paths, but they all share the same enthusiasm to engage in challenging, meaningful software development. This article gives the floor to two software developers who carry out valuable work for our customers. Read more!

At Softability, software development is divided into two areas: embedded software and PC/server software development. The latter comprises, for example, the development of web software, mobile software and cloud services.

One of our characteristics is that regardless of the technology in question, most of our business focuses particularly on meaningful software development.

In practice, our experts work on ensuring the wellbeing of the planet and its people. Our developers have left their imprint on, for example, cancer screening, creating a more data-secure society and the development of environmentally friendly solutions.

In this article, we take a look at the work of two of our experts in two different software development projects. We also asked them how they ended up at Softability, and what they think of their work with us.

 

Kim Meyer is an experienced software developer specialised in embedded systems

Kim Meyer’s career in software development began in the 1980s with VIC-20 and the legendary Commodore 64. He masters numerous programming languages including Pascal, C, Assembly, Prolog, Occam, C#, C++ and Python and has some experience in JavaScript and Node.js.

“That’s quite a few languages. However, I’m specialised in embedded systems in which I mainly use C, C++ and Assembly.”

Meyer has worked with embedded systems since the mid-90s. He ended up in the Softability family almost 10 years ago.

Taking a look back, it was not easy for a software developer to find a job to match their expertise around 2011 as the Finnish labour market was plagued by something of a recession. This may be hard to imagine now as the demand for coders has skyrocketed.

“At the time, I filed 50 job applications, the last of which I submitted to Softability. Not all applications were ever responded to as many employers would not even bother, you know how it is.”

However, Softability CEO Janne Repo did not disregard the application, but invited Meyer to a job interview.

“After the discussion with Janne, I knew there was no need to look for a job anymore.”

It did not take long for Repo to remark that he liked Meyer, and he welcomed Meyer to work on the very next day.

 

What kind of project are you currently involved in?

Over the course of his career at Softability, Meyer has only worked for a single customer, ABB, and its subcontractors.

ABB is one of Finland’s largest industrial employers, and its mission is to increase the productivity and sustainability of both industry and society.

Currently, Meyer participates in a demanding project that is still confidential at this stage. On one hand, he enjoys software development, but on the other, he is committed to the project almost day and night.

“So far, the project has been very interesting and complex. There have been plenty of things to learn. I would not describe the project as exhausting, rather, it has been challenging in a rewarding way.”

 

How is it to work at Softability?

Kim Meyer considers working at Softability “nothing but positive”. According to him, Janne Repo’s management style has an enormous influence on work satisfaction.

“Janne is the engine of Softability. As we are not a big company, Janne’s operating methods reflect on the entire organisation.”

The manager’s methods place emphasis on listening to the employees and their wishes.

“Janne provides plenty of support both proactively and when I need something, for example, a training, material or an additional screen. I’ve always been provided with the things I have asked – without a murmur. The amount of support is enormous.”

Meyer also commends Softability for its lack of heavy bureaucracy. If an employee needs a couple of days off or a personal timeout, it will surely happen.

“At Softability, the employees’ needs are always taken into account, and the employer is flexible when required,” Meyer sums up.

This was concretised when the covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020. Employee contracts were on hold, but Softability took good care of its personnel.

Some consultancy companies apply commission-based remuneration. If an employee does not have an assignment, they are not paid a commission but receive a smaller pay – sometimes significantly so. At Softability, the pay remains steady even in the face of changes.

“I was paid the base salary even though I had no assignment.”

As Meyer puts it, Softability is small, dynamic, adaptable and open to new ideas. In addition, he describes the software company as highly communal.

Usually, Softability would organise common events for its employees, but in the corona times, the opportunities to do so have been limited. There are summer and Christmas celebrations as well as smaller monthly events, such as volley ball or ice swimming.

“Communal is definitely a key word here,” Meyer confirms.

 

Tuomo Oila develops meaningful software that can save lives

For Tuomo Oila, software developer, Softability is the second job.

In his previous workplace, he acted as front developer. He was responsible for the technical implementation of the front but also handled the duties of team leader. In addition, his work included a certain degree of full stack software development.

“In my previous job, I both had to and had the privilege to take on very challenging duties. It was a unique learning experience by all indicators.”

Oila spent nearly five years with the previous company. Then it was time to try something else.

“A career in consultancy has its perks, as you can switch customer projects if required, for example, if the current project tires you out.”

Oila started at Softability in June 2021 and has worked with a single project ever since.

 

What kind of project are you currently involved in?

At Softability, employees have a strong say on what kind of projects they want to participate in. Oila chose the project implemented for the company Aiforia Technologies Plc.

Aiforia’s vision is to utilise artificial intelligence to increase the efficiency and precision of medical image analysis in various fields from oncology to neuroscience.

“I’ve participated in developing software for cancer analysis, and I find the work highly meaningful.”

The project aims at identifying cancer cells with artificial intelligence and improving the efficiency and precision of the identification process.

Therefore, you could say that Oila has an opportunity to implement software development that truly matters.

“Meaningfulness has a quite an impact on work motivation,” Oila notes.

The software development Oila carries out focuses largely on full stack web development. The focus is on the front end, but lately the back end has also played a role. At the moment, he does not work at the customer interface, but makes his effort in the background.

“Among others, we have an artificial intelligence team that consist of pathologists. I work on functionalities that apply the results generated by the artificial intelligence when cancer cells are shown to the user, for example.”

The team comprises a handful of experts. In addition to the developers, the team includes a project manager and a tester. Recently, another Softability employee joined the project as Oila’s partner, and a third expert will tag along later in early 2022. Their work focuses on integration and test automation.

The artificial intelligence that identifies cancer cells has already been deployed by the customer, but the project will continue long into the future.

 

How is it to work at Softability?

As a software developer, Oila’s favourite task is refactoring, that is, improving code by finding better ways to do things and implementing them.

“I believe I have improved Aiforia’s user interface development quite a lot and in many ways which makes me satisfied.”

“Another thing I really enjoy is mentoring and helping people, usually other developers here at Aiforia.”

Tuomo Oila has not only enjoyed the meaningful project, but he also commends Softability as a workplace.

“The atmosphere at Softability is very relaxed. I can rely on my supervisor, and I know that Softability counts on its employees.”

The software developer has also found the monthly work community events pleasant.

“We are planning to go ice swimming this month. It’s great trying out new things every once in a while.”

 

Does working at Softability sound like something you would enjoy? Browse our vacancies!

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